One TCU student is spreading joy this holiday season by posting anonymous compliments by his fellow Frogs on a campus-wide Facebook page.
On the new "TCU Compliments" page, students can post an anonymous compliment on the profile's inbox, and the creator, a male who wishes to remain anonymous, publishes each message.
The page was started on Dec. 15 with a post from the creator that said, “Send an inbox message with an anonymous compliment. It will be posted without your name. Spread a little positivity to the campus after a semester filled with negativity.”
The first post was dedicated to sophomore communicatoin studies and psychology double major Mackie Moreno, which read “Mackie Moreno brightens up the room just by walking in. Her smile is so contagious.”
Since then, the page has grown with over 1,500 friends with access to hundreds of compliments that have been made in the past week.
The Facebook compliments trend started at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, when four students wanted to combat cyber-bullying reports on campus by creating a "Queen's U Compliments" page.
Since the Queen's University page was created, roughly 100 Facebook profiles have been created at many major universities like Columbia University and Penn State University, according to an NBC article.
The creator of the "TCU Compliments" page learned about the trend when a friend from Northwestern University opened the “NU Compliments” version.
"I looked into it and thought the concept of anonymous compliments could be something the TCU could latch onto," he said. "After all, many students choose TCU because of the tight-knit community."
The creator thought that writing anonymous compliments would be an easier outlet for students rather than face-to-face confrontation.
“It honestly is a weird concept for many students nowadays to go up to someone and randomly compliment them,” he said. “By being anonymous, people are willing to say things they would never say to someone’s face, so these compliments are more heartfelt.”
The creator said that the last few semesters have been rough on campus, and that many students need to be reminded that they are surrounded with people going through the same speed bumps in life.
"There are 9,000 students here that probably all feel the same way. College is nothing short of a roller coaster ride, stress is part of the experience, and the emotions that come with that stress are too much to bear at points," he said. "We are all together in this."
Many events in the past year have brought negativity to campus, he said, and that negativity has brought animosity to students.
"First the drug bust, then negative fan behavior at home football games, then the infamous bronze statue sparking a brutish attack on TCU students and Student Government Association," he said. “It seems as though our growing Greek system is growing animosity towards members of similar organizations."
Plus, he said national news events have played a part in the development of the Facebook page.
"Though many of us didn't know the victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the ripples of the consequences touch all of us," he said. "It seems like everyday the news covers something negative like a shooting here and robbery there, and as cheesy as it sounds, sometimes something as simple as a compliment is enough to restore some faith in humanity."
Overall, he hopes students see this Facebook page as a chance to make a difference.
"Many times, in the hustle and bustle of college, we get so wrapped up in that next exam or that big mixer that we forget to slow down and realize that we are all facing the same issues day in and day out," he said. "Hopefully students will see this page as a quick and easy way to help a fellow Horned Frog get through everyday stresses."
Tiana Lewis, a sophomore strategic communication major, said that spreading warmth and happiness among students is a great idea.
“This site is so incredibly great, simple as that. There needs to be more good in this world,” Lewis said. “People spend so much time focusing on what’s wrong with everyone else and the world, and they get consumed with hurt. This page tells students they are worth it, this life is worth it.”
Student Body President Joshua Simpson said that the positivity and goodwill generated by the page is great, and he wishes the extraordinary students at TCU were honored more.
He also said that the new student body officers in Student Government Association are supportive of the initiative and willing to formally support the profile through the SGA Facebook page.
The creator had an anonymous compliment for all of his Facebook friends as well.
"Keep it up. Don't be afraid to submit a sentence or two. A simple act can change the community for the better. The people of the TCU community deserve the credit, they made this page successful."
He said, to quote Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."